Begin Responding Well to Treatment

Premier Menachem Begin’s physician disclosed today that he is being treated for an inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart in addition to fatigue which caused his hospitalization last Friday. Dr. Shlomo Landiado said, however, that his patient was responding very well to the treatment and seems very much better although he may have to stay in the hospital a day or two longer than originally expected.

Landiado said an inflammation of the type diagnosed in Begin was a normal phenomena that appears in the aftermath of a heart attack. Begin suffered a heart attack three months ago.

The Premier was admitted to Ichilov Hospital here suffering from exhaustion after a grueling week of speeches, a tour of northern Sinai, and meetings on domestic and foreign matters. He had complained of chest pains during farewell ceremonies for Panamanian leader Omar Torrijos at Ben Gurion Airport Friday. But doctors at Ichilov who examined Begin assured the public that he had not suffered another heart attack.

The Premier conducted government business from his hospital bed Saturday night. He was visited by State Attorney Aharon Barak and Ephraim Evron, director general of the Foreign Ministry, to draft Israel’s reply to the joint U.S.-Soviet declaration on the Middle East.

Yesterday, aides brought Begin the text of Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Canadian television interview in which President Carter’s National Security Advisor said the U.S. would come to Israel’s aid if it was “mortally threatened, especially by an external power.” The Premier issued a statement that “I have heard that Mr. Brzezinski said the U.S. would rush to the aid of Israel when it is endangered. The question is, who will decide when there is such a danger to the Jewish State.” He noted that the Lebanese Christians were in danger of extermination but no one came to their aid except Israel.

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